Most-Loathed Books

Some British writers/critics choose the books they hate. The usual suspects - Rushdie, Okra, Woolfe, Lawrence, and some surprises, such as McEwan, Bryson and Dickens.


Also, a good dig at some fashionable writers that we are supposed to like for fear of being accused a something with -ist at the end:

"Here’s a bunch of stuff we were all told we had to read by the political and cultural climate of the day; because it would be good for us and because, way beyond this, it was our responsibility to start patronising writers from minorities because it was only the oppressive white male cultural hegemony that kept them in an ethnic- or gender-defined ghetto.

Well, no. Looking back at Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Rosamund Lehmann, Aphra Behn, it wasn’t that – it was just good taste that kept those books locked away. Behn, I remember, was touted by 1980s feminists as the world’s first novelist and one of the finest; well, try reading Oroonoko and see if you conclude that it is your ghastly inherent maleness that is provoking tears of boredom or incredulity to start dripping down your face. Alexander Pope had the measure of the woman 300 years ago, although I don’t suppose it is Behn’s fault that, all those years later, she was coopted for political reasons and waved aloft like a burning bra."

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